Image source: Bill Kelly
Dead & Company kicked off their final trio show at San Francisco’s Oracle Park on Friday night. The Bay was in a special state before the band’s arrival at the waterside venue, as droves moved across town, donning T-shirts emblazoned with the slogans that lured the Grateful Dead and their rich musical legacy to the area. Night One was a full rendition of fan favorites and another jam set featuring mashups of “Dark Star” and “Big River,” before a memorable cover of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” with featured photos of original Grateful Dead members like Jerry Garcia, Ron Pigeon” McKiernan, Brent Midland and other departing players.
As a special tribute, the band kicked off the night with The Crickets classic “Not Fade Away.” The song was a distinct nod towards the band’s looming finale before fading into “Shkeddown Street” to really ignite the energy of the evening. With the cool breezes blowing off the water, it seemed appropriate to land on the tune of the weather, singing John Mayer’s “Cold, Rain & Snow.” Bobby Weir took lead vocals next, adding another staple, “Rumble on Rose”. The sentence: “I know this song will never end” felt particularly heavy. The classics continued with “Brown Eyed Women” and “New Speedway Boogie” before hitting a nerve with “Wharf Rat,” a locally appropriate choice given the nearby landmark. From the musical depths of the previous number emerged the frame’s final song, the lively “Don’t Comfort Me In”.
The second set was about couples during the first night, with the band starting with “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know Your Rider”. Weir and Mayer shared the lyrics to “He’s Gone,” another tune that brought the reality of these final performances to the fore. The aforementioned song ran into “Scarlet Begonias” before Oteil Burbridge took over “Fire on the Mountain,” which merged into a Mickey Hart-led second frame, “Drums” > “Space.” From the cosmic depths of Hart’s evocation emerged a huge jam composed of the “Dark Star” and “Big River”. “Moon Standing” was another emotional moment with matching fonts that touched on the month and the place. The band recreated the party atmosphere with the song “Casey Jones” and the group “US Blues”.
Tonight’s appearance was thoughtful, as black-and-white photos of the deceased Grateful Dead members popped up on huge screens during a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knock on Heaven’s Door.” After time to rest and warm up, the second night started in amazing fashion with a rendition of Sam Cooke’s “Good Times Roll”. “Hell in a Bucket” came next, building the energy of the crowd as they locked themselves in the heart of “It Hurts Me Too”. “Jackstraw” got the audience to their feet before they tapped into their feelings on “Big Railroad Blues”. “Cassidy” had one of the best instrumental performances of the night, with leads from Burbridge and sample keys provided by Jeff Chimenti, that transitioned into the style of 1973’s “They Love Each Other” and the uplifting finale of the first set, “Turn On Your Love Light.”
“Deal” began on frame two, which arrived before “Play in the Band” and the two “The Other One” segments. As the first notes of “Lady With a Fan” arrived, people hugged in certain sections and shrieked excitedly at the music that was to come when the band jammed at “Terrapin Station.” “Drums” > “Space” collided with “Uncle John’s Band”. A reprise of “Playing in the Band” featured the last part of “The Other” before the noteworthy “Morning Dew” delivered with deep feeling by the bandleader. For the second night’s song, Dead & Company chose “Ripple”. Of note, Jay Lynn wore a protest T-shirt that read, SELL, to raise awareness about the proposed move of the Oakland A’s to Las Vegas.
After last night’s show, the band will play one final performance set that will take place this evening at 7pm, live streaming options available. here.
Mitt and co
Oracle Park – San Francisco
July 14, 2023
The first group: Not Fade Away > Shakedown Street > Cold, Rain & Snow, Ramble on Rose, Brown Eyed Women, New Speedway Boogie, Wharf Rat > Don’t Fade Me In
the second group: China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Ryder, He’s Gone > Begonia Crimson > Fire on the Mountain > Drums > Space > Dark Star Big River Jam > Standing on the Moon, Casey Jones, US Blues
Inc.: Roads at the gates of heaven
Mitt and co
Oracle Park – San Francisco
July 15, 2013
The first group: Good Times Roll, Hell in a Bucket, It Hurts Me Too, Jackstraw, Big Railroad Blues, Cassidy > They Love Each Other (’73 Style), Turn On Your Love Light
the second group: The deal, playing in the band, the other > lady with a fan > terrapin station > drums > space > Uncle John’s band > playing music > the other > morning dew
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